Companies today rely on multiple work apps to manage diverse business functions. Right from HR, Finance, to Marketing & Sales, teams make use of various solutions to accomplish various business purposes. But even after subscribing to these go-to apps (meant to resolve business issues), firms fail to achieve their desired outcomes.
The major reason behind this lies in the siloed data architecture of organizations. Since most of the work apps are not connected, users can not spontaneously access, share, or communicate information on the go. As per a report published by research firm, Comptia, “75 per cent of executives agreed with the sentiment that their business would be stronger if they could harness all their data” — showcasing how disintegrated organizations’ processes are across industries.
Salesforce is the #1 CRM and is a great choice to integrate disparate apps and harness the maximum potential of business data. It can be easily integrated with any of the major ERP, BI, CRM, or third-party apps by utilizing built-in and external APIs for the platform. While Salesforce integration can change the way teams use data, experts make big-time mistakes which can lead to cost burnout and performance depreciation.
To prevent mistakes and ensure hassle-free integration, teams need to follow the right practices and guidelines for Salesforce application integration. Here is a list of common mistakes your team should refrain from committing in the first place.
1. Not Agreeing on Systems of Record
Before you begin an integration project, there needs to be unanimity and clarity about the systems/apps involved in the process, the source/destination for migration, and which one of those systems will store master records. This is important because, in case of any error, the final call for data correction will be established from the master system.
We suggest teams finalize the master system/records after analyzing supportive data types for each system (as there can be data mismatch). To prevent errors, Salesforce integration services experts must write data validation rules taking into account records and supportive data types in business solutions.
Don't forget to check out: How to Build a Basic Salesforce REST API Integration
2. Forgetting Legacy Solution Cleanup
Legacy systems are often not cleaned which leads to bad data. This causes type mismatch and format inconsistencies which substantially reduces data usability and increases data management costs. Before getting started with database integration, do check and remove any bad data in your legacy systems.
If you find trouble removing all the bad data on your own, don’t hesitate to onboard Salesforce Integration consultants. They use standardized processes and automated tools to segregate, customize, and de-duplicate info — keeping you free from any bad data.
3. Preferring Custom Over Connector
Integrations are accomplished with the help of APIs. Salesforce-compatible APIs can be created through point-and-click tools as well as by custom development. While custom development is required to pull off complex integrations, most apps could be integrated using the platform’s built-in APIs and third-party connectors.
Instead of using connectors, many developers prefer custom development as it offers more customization capability. However, this may backfire and result in implementation delay and cost burnout. We suggest businesses prefer connectors for app integration and keep custom development as a secondary option.
4. Mapping Data Improperly During Integration
Data mapping is an essential part of the integration process. It hardly matters how well you have strategized data maps; a few unexpected things can always happen in the Salesforce infrastructure causing serious errors. Changing data type and mapping cautiously can help in overcoming these errors during the integration process.
You may also find difficulty in formatting certain data types such as date/time. This largely happens due to inconsistencies between Salesforce and external data types. If the system you are trying to integrate with Salesforce does not recognize Salesforce data types, you should go for custom code or middleware to bring the necessary change.
5. Ignoring the Importance of Middleware
While you can integrate apps with Salesforce through SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) API and selective data maps, not all integrations can be carried out this way. You may need middleware to connect systems, especially if:
- There is a complex system configuration and requirements
- Data needs major changes before it can be exported to Salesforce
- Your systems run asynchronously and hence need to be integrated
There are various middlewares that you can use to accomplish integration. While Mulesoft is the most preferred one (now a part of the Salesforce ecosystem post-acquisition), Salesforce integration consultants also use Jitterbit, Informatica, Dell Boomi, and other middlewares to carry out complex integrations between disparate systems and Salesforce.
6. Not Taking API Limits into Consideration
API limiting which is also called rate limiting tells the number of API calls an app or a user can make within a specific period. This limit varies from edition to edition and environment to environment. If this limit is exceeded or if the total time limits exceed, in either case, the app may stop working.
To ensure the API limit does not exceed post-integration, you should minimize the frequency in which your Salesforce works. You should also consider purchasing additional API calls to ensure there is smooth functioning and no halts for user’s/customers post-integration.
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7. Performing Integration in Production and Skipping QA
If the integration is between disparate systems or if it is complex, you may need to conduct custom integration. However, consider testing the integration in any nonproduction environment while doing this. You may also need to call your account executive and ask for a full or partial sandbox especially if the scope of integration requires complete data quality assurance testing.
While doing this, don’t neglect running full-fledged user acceptance testing (UAT). This will help you know if any of the app features are impeded post-integration or not. To maintain data privacy and ensure restriction, we suggest teams ensure that the incoming data from other systems is not exposed publicly to all business users.
Integrating multiple systems allows better collaboration and insight into system processes that create an enhanced experience for your employees and customers. It is also a great time to keep the system clean and add extended capabilities that further enhance system performance. While Salesforce application integration is beneficial in several ways, the process can be full of mistakes and requires careful implementation. To ensure successful integration in Salesforce, we suggest teams plan thoroughly with stakeholders, consultants, and end-users while rigorously reviewing potential areas of error making.